Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Traditions in Washington, DC

Share Holiday Traditions
in Our Nation's Capitol
with the Young People in Your Life

The lighting ceremony of the National Menorah on the White House Ellipse will take place Tuesday, December 16th at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are FREE, but required for entry. To learn more, click here

Share the story of how the Christmas tree became a White House tradition and how farmers across America compete to grow the “Grand Champion” selected to adorn the White House each year in "Grand Champions of the White House" by Renee Critcher Lyons on

Read about the history of the National Christmas Tree, which graces the Ellipse between the White House and the Washington Monument, in "Our National Christmas Tree" by Cheli Mennella on Here is an excerpt:

The magnificent blue spruce towers above the Ellipse, the ground between the White House and the Washington Monument. Throughout the year it is a silent reminder of yuletide pleasures and joy. Then in December the tree takes on new significance. Dressed in strands of colorful lights and trimmed with ornaments, the tree, our National Christmas Tree, becomes a beacon of beauty and brilliance.

Watch the lighting ceremony of this year's tree at:

Read Newbery-medal winning author Susan Cooper's contrasting memories of the White House--one at a time of sorrow and another at a time of Christmas splendor--in "Memory of the White House" on at:

Discover MORE About the White House and
American History in
Our White House:
Looking In, Looking Out

For even more information and stories about White House holiday traditions, the presidents and first ladies, and American history, check out a copy of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out from your local library and share the extensive fiction and nonfiction pieces and plethora of original art illustrations with the young people in your life. To learn more about White House holidays, you might choose to read how the American hostage crisis in 1979 affected the lighting of the national Christmas tree during President Carter’s term in office in “From Christmas in Plains: Memories” by Jimmy Carter.

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is sold in hardcover and paperback at bookstores everywhere. LEARN MORE about this anthology at